A wide-spread campaign for Jewish education by every means at its disposal, the granting of scholarships to a large number of children whose parents are unable to pay the modest tuition fees of the Talmud Torah, the bettering of school buildings through loans, mortgage assistance and repair subsidies, the raising of pupils’ standards by the distribution of prizes, the raising of the status of the Jewish teacher and enlisting the cooperation of the Jewish mother as an important factor in the religious education of children, are revealed as the achievements of the Jewish Education Association in a report of its work during the eight years of its existence, made public by Israel Unterberg, president of the organization.
Mr. Unterberg summarized his report as follows:
“Eight years ago the Jewish Education Association was organized by a group of men who, after an experience extending over many years with the problem of religious education in Greater New York, came to the conclusion that such education must be regarded as an obligation of the Jewish community. Since then the Association has conducted its ever-widening program of activities on the basis of this principle of collective responsibility.
“One of these essential activities is to rouse the thousands of Jewish parents, who neglect to give their children a Jewish education, out of their indifference. The figures gathered by the Jewish Education Association reveal the fact that only about 28 per cent of Jewish children of school age in Greater New York are receiving some sort of Jewish instruction.
“The Jewish Education Association endeavors to meet this problem by conducting an incessant campaign of “Education for Jewish Education” by every means at its disposal; through the newspapers, Jewish and English; through the radio; through special literature; through the spoken word, etc. The figures further reveal that for the period that the Jewish Education Association has been in existence there has been an absolute increase in the number of Jewish children receiving a Jewish education of 25,000.
“From the beginning of its career, the Jewish Education Association has made the granting of scholarships to such children one of its major activities. Out of its funds, a special Scholarship Fund has been set aside for the purpose of paying free tuition. Since the beginning of its operation, the Scholarship Fund has made allotments totalling approximately $350,000 to 100 institutions nearly all of them Talmud Torahs of the Orthodox type. About 15,000 scholarships, total and partial, have been granted.
“Soon after its formation, the Jewish Education Association found that many of the existing school buildings were badly in need of alterations and repairs, and that new buildings were an essential necessity, particularly in those neighborhoods which have recently received an influx of Jewish residents. The Association has been laboring to meet both needs, the first, through its committee on buildings and repairs; the second, through the Jewish Education Association Mortgage Service, Inc.
“The Committee on Building and Repairs has in many cases granted subsidies to schools that require repairs, on condition that the major part of the necessary funds be furnished by the institution itself. As a result, with grants totalling about $15,000, the institutions concerned have made repairs amounting to about $200,000.
“The Jewish Education Association Mortgage Service, Inc., has been in operation for about four years. During this period it has extended 17 mortgage loans amounting to $253,000. These loans aided in the construction of 15 school buildings with total value of approximately $2,000,000.”